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Container Gardening in Your Classroom

We are excited to host the Director of Education, Kevin Daugherty, from Illinois Ag in the Classroom for a workshop on March 16th, 2015 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Cook County Farm Bureau, 6438 Joliet Road, Countryside, IL. 

This interactive workshop will provide teachers with many ideas on how to use container gardens in their classroom.  Ties to science, math, social studies and language arts will be highlighted!!  Teachers will leave with lessons and materials to implement the very next day. Applications for a container garden grant  for classrooms will be distributed as well!    

Pre-registration required by emailing or by calling Diane Merrion, Ag Literacy Coordinator at 708-354-3276.

Discussion of Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year)

Discussion of Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year) Donald L. Uchtmann and Gary Schnitkey Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois  farmdoc daily (4):228 Recommended citation format: Uchtmann, D., and G. Schnitkey. "Discussion of Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year)." farmdoc daily (4):228, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 25, 2014. Permalink URL A new farmland lease form called "Fixed Cash Lease (Short Form for One Year)" is available on the farmdoc website (PDF and Word). This lease is for a fixed cash rent that is one-year in length. The form allows for extensions to be made at the end of the one-year term. Many of the issues that have to be dealt with in longer-termed leases do not have to be dealt with in a lease of one-year in length. Terms and ...

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Janet McCabe isn’t exactly working in a low-stress field...

As a critical care nurse in Orland Park, Ill., Janet McCabe isn’t exactly working in a low-stress field. It’s no surprise that, come weekend, she’s ready for a break. But Janet’s version of working for the weekend isn’t working all week so she can take a break — it’s working all week so she can farm.

Read more about Janet McCabe at:

Beginning Farmer Loans Expanded

As of Nov. 7, USDA plans to increase the microloan borrowing limit for beginning and family farmers to $50,000.  

USDA will further simplify lending processes, update required "farming experience" to include other valuable experiences, and expand eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated.  

The microloan changes will allow beginning, small and mid-sized farmers to access an additional $15,000 in loans using a simplified application process with up to seven years to repay.

In addition to farm-related experience, other types of skills may be considered to meet the direct farming experience required for farm loan eligibility, such as operation or management of a nonfarm business, leadership positions while serving in the military or advanced education in an agricultural field.

Pumpkin Field Day - September 4th - Free Program

Register on-line HERE.  Come join us on September 4, 2014 at 10:00 am for the 2014 Pumpkin Field Day at Ewing Demonstration Center!  We have over 50 pumpkin varieties planted in the field in addition to field demonstration plots on disease, insect, and weed management.  Hear from Extension Specialists, Educators, and local growers on a variety of topics relating to pumpkin production.  Make your plans to attend this FREE program today!

Farm Lease Seminar - Registration Open!

Lease program brought to you by The Chicago Farmers.  Help us start our new year strong at our first meeting on September 8, 2014.  We welcome Dr. Gary Schnitkey, a Professor at the U of I, whose research emphasis includes farm profitability, to give us his thoughts on the grain farm outlook and cash rents for 2015.  Join us for a great opportunity to reconnect and to get a perspective on the future of your farm investment.
11:30 AM Registration
12:00 PM Lunch
12:30 PM  Presentation
For on-line registration visit Chicago Farmers ( or call at 312-388-3276 (FARM). Register by September 5th.  
Member Early Bird before 9/1-$25.....Member after 9/1-$35.....Guest Early bird before 9/1-$50.....Guest after 9/1-$60

Big Hopes for Kalettes, a Kale, Brussels Sprouts Hybrid

Kale has gotten big.  And now it's getting small.  Kalettes, the first new vegetable to reach the U.S. market since broccolini joined produce departments in 1998, are set to debut this fall.  The compact clusters of frilly green leaves are a cross between Brussels sprouts and kale, a vegetable whose reputation has soared since scientists a decade ago sought its help in making a maligned brassica more appealing.  (George H.W. Bush famously classified Brussels sprouts avoidance as a valuable presidential perk.)  Brussels sprouts were slumping, recalls Lisa Friedrich, marketing specialist for British vegetable seed breeder Tozer Seeds.  She adds that the hybridization was initially designed to lessen the bitterness that bothers Brussels sprouts detractors. 

Action Request!

Illinois Farm Bureau has activated a call to action urging members to call the White House before 4 p.m. on Thursday, to urge President Barack Obama to “ditch the rule” defining “waters of the U.S.” “If the drains and ditches that cross between, among and within farm fields and pastures are regulated as ‘navigable waters,’ the implications for farmers and ranchers will be disastrous,” according to the action request. Calls to the White House, 202-456-1111, should be made between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CST Tuesday through Thursday. Here is a suggested script of what to say: My name is ______________________ and I’m calling from __________ in the President’s home state of Illinois.   I am strongly opposed to the EPA’s new definition of waters of the United States.   EPA’s rule ignores the will of Congress and flies in the face of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions.   As a farmer who does NOT want the EPA looking over my s ...

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Manifolds, Manolos & Bona Heinsohn

In January of 2009, Patrick J. Quinn assumed governorship of Illinois after his predecessor and two-time running mate, Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois General Assembly and removed from office.  Blagojevich is now serving time in federal prison. Quinn’s political platform includes spending cuts, tax increases, increased ethical standards, public-sector union protections, and environmental restraints.  However, in May Quinn supporters and opponents alike learned that federal prosecutors and the Cook County State’s Attorney launched investigations into his Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a $55 million anti-violence grant program.  Quinn launched the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative for Cook County during his heated 2010 gubernatorial race against Senator Bill Brady.  His political opponents argue that Quinn used the program to shore up his support in Cook County, one of only four counties that Quinn won in the 2010 General Election. According to the Bellev ...

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Pedal Tractor Contest Winner

Congratulations to Laurie Longfield of Wheeling!! Laurie is this year's winner of the John Deere Pedal Tractor Contest that was held at the Wagner Farm Dairy Breakfast on Saturday June 14th.